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Michael Walzer's Just War Theory and the 1982 Israel War in Lebanon: Theory and Application

Cohen-Almagor, Raphael



The article draws on Michael Walzer's just war theory to assess the conduct of the Lebanon War of 1982 (Operation Peace for Galilee) and argues that according to the underpinning principles of Walzer's theory, it was an unjust war. Sharon's war plans, codenamed “Grand Oranim,” were designed to relieve the Lebanese Christian militias of their so-called Palestinian burden by driving the refugees into Jordan where they would presumably bring about a regime change and turn Jordan into a Palestinian state. My analysis focuses on the causes of this war, jus ad bellum, whether it was a war of self-defense, and the means that were employed in its conduct, its jus in bello. Likewise explored and analyzed here are the concepts of proportionality and the treatment of non-combatants.


Cohen-Almagor, R. (2022). Michael Walzer's Just War Theory and the 1982 Israel War in Lebanon: Theory and Application. Israel Studies, 27(3), 166-189.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 26, 2022
Online Publication Date Aug 1, 2022
Publication Date Sep 1, 2022
Deposit Date Aug 4, 2022
Publicly Available Date Feb 2, 2024
Journal Israel Studies
Print ISSN 1084-9513
Electronic ISSN 1527-201X
Publisher Indiana University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 3
Pages 166-189
Keywords First Lebanon War; Operation Peace for Galilee; Israel; Just war; Unjust war; Lebanon; Michael Walzer; Menachem Begin; Ariel Sharon; PLO; Phalange; Manipulation; Aggression; Security; Syria
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